San Luis Obispo Approves Some of the Highest Cannabis Permitting Fees in the State
Recreational marijuana dispensaries will soon be welcome in San Luis Obispo, but it’s going to cost operators an arm and a leg.
A new fee schedule approved by the City Council Tuesday gives SLO some of the highest local permitting costs in the state, with application costs at $22,000 per application and annual fees ranging from $65,890 for cannabis distributors to an eye-popping $90,575 for retailers. Priority will be given to applicants with at least five years of experience in the cannabis industry and those who plan to employ individuals from the local community.
Community Development Director Michael Codron told local NBC affiliate KSBY that the high fees are meant to ensure 100% coverage of all costs related to commercial marijuana businesses. The revenue will fund additional staff to process applications, as well as additional police officers to enforce the new rules.
The contrast between SLO’s fees and those of comparable cities is stark, however. In Oakland, fees start at as little as $2,790. In Grover Beach, they’re $5,000 or more.
The Council may decide to lower fees for small enterprises at a later date.